BIS #6990 DB Yerwada Launches Plastic Warriors

By Ms Pearl Fernandes for BISMumbai

Don Bosco Junior College, Yerwada, Pune, launched a special eco-friendly project for Junior College students, actively involving them in understanding their responsibility to Mother Earth, on 27 July 2023. 60 students who were chosen for special training to become plastic ‘warriors’ inspired by the slogan “My Garbage, My Responsibility”.  

The Poona Rotary Club hosted an installation ceremony in which the Interact Club was formally established.  The Rotary Club President and Chief Guest President, Mr Narendrapal Singh Bakshi, presented the students with pins symbolising their induction as eco-warriors in the newly formed Interact Club. The students took an oath to serve society and were encouraged to put others before themselves. 

The Rotary Club of Poona was founded on 10 June 1936. They promote environmental stewardship, social justice, health awareness, literacy, and high ethical standards.  They support youth development and the empowerment of women. They thanked the Don Bosco Pune Management, Staff, and Students for being a part of social change and working with the underprivileged strata of society. 

Mrs Mita Banerjee, a journalist and social activist, led the second session. As Eco-Warriors, Team Miracle has begun to include various environmental activities in recent years. She demonstrated the harmful effects of plastic waste and provided several simple solutions to raise public awareness. The effective presentations were an eye opener for students, who realised that they themselves are the root cause of the problem and that the solution is also in their hands. 

The students promised to collect plastic waste and donate it to organisations that would turn waste into ‘wealth’. Mrs Banerjee successfully encouraged students to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic. The use of cloth bags, avoiding the use of plastic gift wrap, segregating waste, using natural products, were  just a few suggestions made on how to go about doing everyday tasks in an environmentally friendly way. Students also offered a variety of ideas and envisioned ways they could help make the world a little greener.

Later, Ms Divya Bhat, an artist, led a workshop on creating paper bags and envelopes. Students were fully engrossed as they got hands-on experience and enjoyed doing something innovative. Students were inspired to make small changes in their own behaviour to help create a world free of pollution. "My motto will be, ‘Refuse if you cannot reuse’," said Dion Murthy, a Grade 12 student. “I am proud to be a plastic warrior. I enjoyed making my own paper bag’’.

Plastic pollution is one of the most serious environmental threats we face today, and  must be curtailed effectively. SDG Goal 12 of the United Nations is about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, which are critical for sustaining the livelihoods of current and future generations. It is important that students are made aware of this and taught how to alter their lifestyles for a better future.